China trade war and Brexit threaten global growth says International Monetary Fund

Elias Hubbard
October 11, 2018

"During the meeting, they requested financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund to help address Pakistan's economic challenges", Lagarde said in a statement.

Lagarde said help for the country would have to take into account what debts are owed to whom.

"In whatever work we do, we need to have a complete understanding and absolute transparency about the nature, size, and terms of the debt that is bearing on a particular country", Lagarde told a news conference when asked about Pakistan's debts to China.

With weakening growth and uncertainties over trade, smoothing the economic impact of structural adjustments and de-risking "is a very hard act of judgment that policymakers in China have to struggle with", Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF's fiscal affairs department, told reporters at a separate briefing on its Fiscal Monitor, a report that tracks the state of countries' public finances.

The ongoing trade war between the USA and China could start having material effects on the economies of both countries within the coming years, according to new projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Growth in the 19-nation zone is forecast to slow further to 1.9 percent in 2019, unchanged from the July estimate.

President Donald Trump has already pushed through laws repealing banking rules in America for smaller institutions, saying they were holding back bank lending to businesses.

The IMF has also warned that United Kingdom public finances are among the weakest in the world. "I just say they're not ready yet".

One could be the ending of "easy money".

Central banks are starting to withdraw the stimulus that was put in place at the time of the financial crisis.

Over the last few months, the Chinese government has urged banks to lend more and called on local governments to speed up bond issuance to raise funds for infrastructure spending.

The IMF, in its twice annual assessment of global financial stability, said conditions remain broadly conducive to economic growth, but are at risk of worsening should emerging markets deteriorate further or trade tensions escalate.

The downgrade reflects a confluence of factors, including the introduction of import tariffs between the United States and China, weaker performances by eurozone countries, Britain and Japan, and rising interest rates that are pressuring some emerging markets with capital outflows, notably Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia and Mexico.

More efficient use of government-owned buildings, for example, can help reduce lease costs, the International Monetary Fund said, while Britain has shifted away from inflation-linked bonds to limit the interest rate risk in the Bank of England's bond portfolio.

The American economy has been performing strongly, encouraging global investors to move capital there and invest in the dollar.

The Federal Reserve, the US central bank, has raised short-term USA rates three times this year as the American economy gains strength more than nine years after the end of the Great Recession.

It also said inflation in India is on the rise, estimated at 3.6 per cent in fiscal year 2017/18 and projected at 4.7 per cent in fiscal year 2018/19, compared with 4.5 per cent in fiscal year 2016/17, amid accelerating demand and rising fuel prices.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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